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Chocolate Lilac Cat Genetics

by Karen Roderic

I have a blue point whos sire was a seal point. The mother is a lilac point. He is a little over a year old. We also have a blue point female. Compared to the blue point female, the male is very much pink. He has rosey colored paw pads and its hard to tell about the nose leather. Could he be a lilac point instead of the blue? Could he have changed since he was registered with his litter? I am new to this and have noticed the different variations of the color in the two when they are both supposed to be blue points.

Although, there are variations in the intensity of coloring of blue points, if you see pink overtones in the blue, you may very well have a lilac point. Check the pedigree for chocolate/lilacs on the sire's side. Kittens do not change color, say from blue to lilac, but the dilute may take longer to develop than the darker seal and chocolate point, so the kitten may have appeared a blue point as the coloring was developing on the points. Discuss with the breeder of your cat the possibility of having a lilac. Send her some photos of your kitty. The color can be changed on the registration papers. Once again, you will want to discuss this with the breeder of your kitty, as she will be interested to know. You may also send us a few photos of your boy sitting with your blue point girl. It may be quite obvious.

I have a lilac lynx point ragdoll boy, age six months. How do I know if he is blue or truly lilac, please?

Is this Ragdoll from your own breeding or a purchased kitty? If a purchased addition to your family, his papers, hopefully, should have stated his true color. A lilac point is often difficult enough to identify, but then add the lynx markings and the task becomes more difficult. First, check the pedigree to verify that both parents are chocolate/lilac or at least both carriers for the gene (one parent of each needs to be a chocolate/lilac). If both parents are chocolate/lilac, then your kitty should be visual for that gene. At this point, you may want to do a test cross with a known chocolate/lilac. If your boy is a true lilac, all kittens will be variations of chocolates/lilac. If there are no visuals, he may be only a blue lynx point. Do you have a few photos of your boy? We will be happy to take a look. Best of luck with you future litters.

Karen, I bought a seal point that might have the chocolate/lilac gene. How can I tell? I seen his pedigree and there are four that are either chocolate or lilac. The breeder stated that there was a chance he was a chocolate carrier. What would be my chance of me getting chocolates or lilacs if I bred either a carrier of the chocolate gene or a visual?

A kitten born out of one chocolate parent will always be a chocolate carrier. When a kitten is born from parents that are are both only carriers, the kitten has a 50% of carrying the chocolate gene. If only one parent carries the gene for chocolate, the kitten has only 25% chance of also carrying the chocolate gene. From the information you gave, it would be impossible to know the genetic makeup without a test breeding with you cat. If possible, breed your seal point to a visual chocolate or lilac. I recommend breeding to a solid chocolate, as solids are easier to identify than the pointed chocolates and lilacs. If there are solid chocolate/chocolate pointed babies, your seal point is a definite carrier for chocolate. A chocolate carrier breed to a chocolate will produce chocolate babies at about 50%. If there are no visuals in the first litter, a second breeding may be tried. After two matings and no visuals, then your seal point probably does not carry the gene. You may also try a chocolate carrier with your matings, but at 25%, you may have several litters before you see a chocolate baby, and that is if your seal point is a carrier.

Hi Karen, what color do you think this kitten is? 1st Photo: she is four months old here. 2nd Photo: She is 6 months here. No chocolate in the background. The Father is a red classic tabby and white, mother dominant calico and both carry dilute genes. I don't do chocolates, but had this funky color kitten appear in my last breeding with the said pair.


The kitten at 4 months certainly appears from the photo to have chocolate coloring. She has very strong tabby markings. Without the tabby markings, she might be considered a chocolate calico. With the strong classic tabby pattern throughout her coat, I think that would fall into a color like chocolate patched tabby and white or chocolate torbie. The second photo at six months seems to have faded in the chocolate coloring and if this is true, you may just be looking at changes in her kitten coat. The chocolate color can pass many generations on both sides without being a visual. If this was the case, you may not see the chocolate in their pedigrees. There may have also been an ooops breeding that was not noticed by the breeder. A copy of the parents pedigree would be helpful in any case. The best way to be sure if there is chocolate in that kitty. Breed her to a solid chocolate. If she is a true chocolate, your kittens will be chocolate, chocolate calico, chocolate tortie, chocolate bicolor and maybe some dilutes. You will also have about 50% in the red patterns out of the boys, because of the mom's one x chromosome red gene.

Is it possible to get a chocolate and white female kitten from a red and white (carrying choc) male X choc and white female? Please help, I have the said kitten, but I am unsure now as to her pedigree.

No. When you breed your chocolate and white female to your red and white male, all female kittens will be calico, either regular calico or chocolate calico. On the other hand, your males will either be black and white bicolor, chocolate and white bicolor or a combination of both. You didn't mention if your red and white male was from two chocolate parents. If so, you would have chocolate calico girls and chocolate and white boys. If there is dilute (lilac or blue), you may also see lilac and white or lilac calicos.

How do you achieve this color genetically?

The color chocolate (dilute lilac) must be in the genetic makeup of the cat in order for the color to be expressed. Since the color is recessive to black (dilute blue), the chocolate gene must be present on both the dam's and sire's pedigree. Carriers for chocolate are achieved by breeding a non chocolate to a visual chocolate, chocolate point, chocolate bicolor or other chocolate variety. The resulting offspring will carry one gene for the chocolate color and one gene for the normal color (black, seal, etc.) The cat will be a visual black, seal, black & white bicolor and so forth. When any of these offspring is breed to another carrier or chocolate, the following generation will have approximately 25% chocolate kittens from a carrier breeding or 50% chocolate kittens from a chocolate to carrier breeding. If the chocolate gene is not present in the genetic makeup of the parents, the color must be introduced to achieve a chocolate/lilac in future generations.

Are solid chocolate Persians rare? I've been told so by several people at various pet stores. I have a 6 month old female kitten and I want to learn more about them. How can I tell that mine is a solid chocolate? She is chocolate all over except by her neck where it's lighter colored.

The first chocolate Persians appeared in Europe. So are chocolate Persians rare? Not really. They are not as available as the typical black or blue Persian and a person looking to purchase a show quality chocolate should expect to pay twice the cost for the same quality as the basic black. A chocolate cat, just as a black cat, may have a lighter ruff than the basic body color. If your cat is a chocolate, your cat's registration blue slip should list your cat as a chocolate. This registration paper should have been given to you when you purchased your kitten. You may also send for your cat's pedigree through the registry of your kitten's papers. You should also see chocolates on both sides of the parents.

I have a chocolate Persian. What's a Chocolate Point?

Although, chocolate cats have been in existence for some time in many breeds such as the Siamese, the chocolate color was introduced into the Persian breed with the creation of Himalayan Persians. Siamese were bred to Persians to incorporate the points (color on ears, tail, face, and legs with white to off white body) into the genetic makeup. Along with the point gene, the chocolate gene was also passed when a chocolate point Siamese was the parent. The newly created Himalayan breed later became a division of the Persian breed.

Hello Karen, we are new to breeding and would like to move toward chocolates and/or lilac points. We currently have a tortoiseshell female and a black CPC male. We want to purchase a new cat (two if need be) What would you suggest in order to get the chocolates and/or lilac points. Can we use either of the two we already have?

The two cats you currently have may work into your breeding program. Make an honest assessment of their quality to insure they will contribute positively to your future generations. First, and most importantly, you will need to introduce the chocolate gene into your line. This can be done with one cat, but two would be better. As your male is only a carrier for the pointed gene, you will probably make the best choice with a chocolate point male. Purchase the best you can locate and afford. Interview many prospective catteries, as this male will be the foundation of future generations. This chocolate point bred to your tortoiseshell will produce all carriers for the point and chocolate genes. If you breed any females from this litter to your black cpc male, you will get 25% pointed kittens, but you will not know if they carry the chocolate gene. You may add your second chocolate, or chocolate carrier (either a male or a female) and breed to the kittens from that litter out of your tortie. Those chocolate babies your cat produces, now in your second generation, can be bred to your black CPC male. You will produce in this third generation, pointed and solid kittens that all carry the chocolate gene. As your program progresses, you may add another chocolate/chocolate carrier. As you can see, you may be working with two or three generations and a lot of cats. On the other hand, you may also purchase two chocolate point kittens at the same time and produce all chocolate points in the first generation. At this point, you will need to decide if you will breed these babies to your CPC male or outcross into another chocolate line. I always prefer to outcross chocolates/chocolate points to solid Persian lines of outstanding type to keep type and vigor in the program. These chocolate(solid or point) carriers can then be breed back to a chocolate. Where you start and the direction you decide to take, will depend on the quality and vigor of your first litter and financial investment you can put into your program.

What exactly does it mean to be a chocolate and/or lilac carrier? I know that both parent cats have to carry these colors for the kittens to be chocolate or lilac. Do the parents have to have a pedigree full of chocolate and lilac or just a few ancestors who carry these colors?

Quite simply, a chocolate carrier is a cat that has the potential of producing chocolate/lilac kittens when breed to chocolate/lilac or another carrier. In order to be 100% certain a cat is a chocolate/lilac carrier, ONE parent must be a chocolate or lilac(solid, pointed, bicolor or other chocolate variety). In this case, it only takes one and not a storybook full of chocolates. A cat may also be a chocolate or lilac carrier, if one or more of its ancestors was a chocolate/lilac. The only way to verify that the gene is present, is to breed the cat to a chocolate/lilac. If there are
kittens in the litter, the cat in question is a carrier for the chocolate/lilac gene. It may take more than one breeding, as chocolates will appear at a rate of 50% and not necessarily from the same litter. The recessive gene for chocolate may be carried for many generations being passed on at a rate of 50% from a carrier parent. The color will stay hidden until matched with a chocolate gene from the other parent. After three generations without visuals, your chance of having a chocolate carrier is less than 12%. So, when a cat is listed as a chocolate carrier, it is either from a chocolate/lilac parent or has been test bred producing chocolate/lilac kitten(s). Breeding two carriers for chocolate/lilac, will produce chocolate/lilacs at a rate of 1:4 (25%).

I raise Munchkins and have chocolate in their background. I have a cat and kitten of the same color and it has been questioned as a chocolate. I would really like to send an expert in chocolates a picture and see what you think. If that's possible, let me know.

If your Munchkins have chocolate on both sides of their parents' background, you could indeed have chocolate cats. The breeder of your cats, would have listed, on the kitten registration slip, the color of those cats as chocolate. Check the pedigree for those kitties. You want to see chocolate/lilac on both the dam's and sire's side, hopefully in the first generation. However, the recessive chocolate color can be passed many generations on both sides before it is expressed when the two chocolate genes are paired up. Occasionally cats are registered the wrong color. If they look brown without tabby markings, they could be chocolate. There are also chocolate tabbies, but I don't think this is what you are talking about. If you do have chocolate kitties, the color can be changed on the registration papers.


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